‘Bluebell’ – Our Lottery Camper Project
by Simon Few
When we first met, my wife Debs had a stainless steel VW Bay window clock hanging in her house because she loved VW campers and I had dreamt of owning a VW Camper since a friend of mine had one for Scuba diving weekends in Scotland back in the 90’s. Debs and I would often see VW campers on our travels along the British highways and bye ways, always excited when we spotted one and wishing we could have one of our very own. Unable to justify the additional expense of a third vehicle on the drive we remained enthusiastic spectators of the VW scene. We would often joke that we needed a lottery win to be able to buy ourselves our dream van.
Debs in VW heaven
Most people can claim not to know anyone who has won the lottery, but we can! In fact 16 of us at work shared a Wednesday jackpot which meant we could at last fulfil our dream of owning a VW bus. We found out whilst on an idyllic holiday in the Caribbean. At first , convinced it was a joke I ignored the persistent telephone calls thinking it was more telephone sales people, (do you know how much it costs to receive a call on your mobile overseas?!), I finally contacted one of my more reliable work colleagues who confirmed it was true and we were to share £2m between us. Needless to say the rest of the holiday was spent in a dream like trance.
After a lot of research we decided a Bay Window bus would be perfect as it gave us a bit more room than a Splittie and we preferred the idea of RHD. RHD splits in good usable condition fitted as campers were a little scarce. After a couple of months looking we spotted a 1970 Dormobile on Ebay and put in an offer which the seller accepted.
‘Bluebell’ – 1970 Dormobile, now equipped with a Vanwurks Classic Beech interior
This is Bluebell the summer after we purchased her with the only addition being the roof rack. She had been lowered and fitted with BRMs by the previous owner who had done a lot of work replacing the bottom ¼ almost all the way around as well as fitting rust free doors and lids from the US. The original Dormobile interior was intact but very tired and after several long trips including Cornwall and the North East we started to think about updating, torn between originality and modernity. My biggest gripe was the feeling I was going to fall out of bed into the spare wheel well in the middle of the night.
The original Dormobile interior
The lowered stance although looking good and stiffening the ride became another bug bear as we live in Lincolnshire and the roads are only marginally better than those found in the mountains of South America! So after living with the frequent horrendous scrapping and crunching sounds that punctuated any trip around our home county we decided to elevate Bluebell a little. I can hear the slamming fraternity now! We also love original steel wheels and chrome hub caps. So the ride was heightened , original wheels sourced and fitted and the old interior came out.
The new Vanwurks interior going in. Starting from the back……
……..Installed, with just some tidying up to do.
New height, original wheels and a brand new interior
My daughter Nadia visiting from Germany loved the new interior. This was our first week long trip out to Wells Next to the Sea in North Norfolk after fitting our Vanwurks Classic interior. The choice of the Power Management System was well and truly justified by the constant use of the hook up for hair dryers, straighteners and all manner of other electrical hair care accessories used by the girls! Bluebell now gets used whenever we can get away. The next job is to fit a Propex heater which we have left room for under the comfortable rock n roll bed, no excuses now!
Our first trip away to Norfolk
We love our bus and the Vanwurks classic interior was the one that we felt gave the best for looks and practicality. An interior that is designed to be used and not just for show. Debs and I wholeheartedly recommend Vanwurks. Their interiors are finished to an excellent standard and the fitting was straight forward with clear concise instructions. Everyone who sees it comments on how smart it looks .
Chuffed? You better believe it. Thanks Nick and Liz.